Professor John Colombo, director of the University of Kansas Life Span Institute, will serve as interim vice chancellor of research at the University of Kansas, effective August 8, 2017.
“His institutional knowledge and broad scholarly and academic experience give me immense confidence in his ability to manage this critical sector of the institution,” said Neeli Bendapudi, provost and executive vice chancellor. Colombo fills the position previously held by James Tracy, who will return to a faculty role within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the School of Pharmacy.
Colombo joined KU as a research associate with the Bureau of Child Research in 1982 after one year at Youngstown State University. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and has been a professor in the Department of Psychology since January of 2002.
Colombo became the third director of the Life Span Institute September 2007. He also serves as the director and principal investigator of the KU Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center.
His service to KU includes noteworthy administrative roles. For nearly two decades Colombo served KU as faculty chair of the Human Subjects Committee on the Lawrence campus, ending his tenure in that capacity in 2012. From 2001 to 2004 he was an associate dean of the Graduate School, and he was acting chair of the Department of Psychology from 2005 to 2006.
Along with being an active participant in the Cognitive and Brain Science and Developmental Science doctoral programs within the Department of Psychology, he is affiliated with three interdisciplinary doctoral programs: Child Language, Clinical Child Psychology and Neuroscience.
John Colombo received his doctorate in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Bendapudi expressed thanks for Tracy’s contributions to campus.
“Jim has been an invaluable resource in planning and design efforts of the Integrated Science Building, the cornerstone of the Central District redevelopment project. This important effort will strategically position KU for decades to come,” Bendapudi said.
A national search for the next vice chancellor of research will be announced soon, Bendapudi said.